Chaos Attraction

Safety Not Guaranteed Review

2012-07-01, 9:44 a.m.

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Today's driving trip was to Sacramento once again to (a) do some errandy stuff that I normally can't do, and then (b) go to the indie movie theater to see Safety Not Guaranteed. Going to the movies there is definitely something I normally can't do, so that was cool to actually SEE the indie movie for the lone week it plays here. I had an interesting time trying to find a parking garage, but eventually found one and it even took validation, so yay. I then went back to my town and saw Magic Mike. I'm unashamed to say that I went to the stripper movie. So the rest of this entry is gonna be movie reviews. (Magic Mike is going on a second page because I am just gonna recap it hilariously.) And I will warn you that I am gonna spoil the ends. I'll put spoiler space for SNG for those of you who want to see it and can't and want to know, but there's not a whole lot of deep surprise plot to spoil in Magic Mike, so I kinda doubt that's a big deal.

Safety Not Guaranteed: So this douchey Seattle newspaper reporter sees this ad asking for a partner to go time traveling with. The guy is located somewhere on the beachy coast of Washington--I strongly suspect it was filmed where I went on vacation a few years ago. The douchey reporter, Jeff, suggests this as a story idea and requests that he take two interns along with him. Let me tell you that way back in the day when I was a newspaper intern, going on a trip for weeks was unlikely to happen, and I kept thinking, "Who's got the money at a newspaper to put 3 people up in a hotel room any more?" Also, uh, the second intern doesn't seem to do shit other than hang out and game on his laptop. But anyway... they find out the guy's name (Kenneth) and where he works, and Douchey Reporter Jeff goes over to offer his time-travel services. However, Kenneth asks Jeff why he wants to go and Jeff is all like, "Dinosaurs, man!" and Kenneth is all, "Not a good enough reason. GO AWAY." So Jeff sends his female intern, Darius (okay, beats me why the name) to ah, pimp her vagina out and use her feminine wiles on him. Darius instead uses her weird wacky Aubrey Plaza skills of being weird and fascinating and gets in as his time travel partner.

Darius actually has a motivation to go time traveling to 2001 (Kenneth's set deadline)-- her mother got murdered after going out to pick her up chocolate milk. Kenneth eventually says he wants to save the life of a girl he loved. He also is worried about being followed--something that turns out to be true and for good reason. Anyhoo, Kenneth appears to be a self-made man, training himself how to be a ninja and play the zither (in a surprisingly sweet secene) and stuff like that. He and Darius hit it off, even if he might be uh, kind of off as a human being.

Douchey Reporter Jeff's real motivation for wanting to do this story is that he wants to look up his old girlfriend when he was 18. He does, they start dating again for awhile. Then Jeff makes the mistake of asking Liz to come with him to Seattle and she gets pissed off and it's over. Then Jeff decides to drag the boy intern (I honestly don't know how to even spell the guy's name, it starts with an A) out to get a life and go partying because he's 21 and it's about time he learned how to enjoy life. I think that scene is the only reason why the boy intern is in this movie!

And now, commences the spoiling of the end. Scroll down, or not:
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The boss at the newspaper looks up the name of Kenneth's dead girlfriend Belinda and finds out that uh...Belinda's still alive. Darius goes out to interview her, and Belinda (played by Kristen Bell as a popular girl!) says that she never really went out with Kenneth, but he was one of those dudes who had a crush on her and seemed nice, blah de blah. This makes Darius not exactly trust the dude any more, and she confronts him on it. Around this time, the two government guys come up to Darius and tell her they've been following Kenneth for two years, he's robbed other facilities, etc. And the newspaper reporter team go into Kenneth's house and find the drafts of his time machine all over the basement. So is it real? Well, they all go to the launch site--it turns out the time machine is a boat-- and she gets on with Kenneth and the time machine disappears! Awesome!

I love that this movie didn't cop out and just have Kenneth be crazy and time travel not be real. That's no fun for anybody. Also makes me wish I could see the sequel. If they'd make one.

However, it is weird that the supposed motivation for Kenneth wanting to go to 2001--remember, motivation for travel is a big deal for him-- doesn't exist. So what the hell was he going to do in 2001, anyway? That doesn't make sense and you don't really find out why he lied about that. It's the one thing that bugs me. But otherwise, he and Darius are darned cute and it's fun to watch.


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